Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Why "Daylight Saving Time"?

By David Bragg

    There are, based on how daylight saving time (DST) is currently implemented in the United States, two types of time. "Standard" is determined by our established time zones that stretch across the country while "daylight" time is the adjusted time in those areas where DST is observed (Hawaii and most of Arizona are excluded). Standard time was first established by the railroads in 1883 to regulate their schedules rather than having inconsistent times from one station to another. It would be another 35 years before standard time would be set by an act of Congress.
    The idea of DST was first introduced in the U.S. in 1909 by Andrew Peters, but the bill had only a short, unproductive life. It would not be until the U.S. involvement in World War I that standard time would be set by Congress. Included in that 1918 ruling on standard time was the first introduction of DST in America. Strong resistance to the annual time adjustment would lead to that part of the law being repealed in 1919. Participation in DST was on a voluntary basis until it was again mandated during World War II, from 1942 to 1945. Twenty-one years would pass before the idea of DST was again employed, although not mandated, in 1966 (U.S. Naval Observatory).
    From the time Congress first seriously considered regulating and adjusting time, the idea has been met with controversy (often on an economic basis). But as Christians you and I ought to be much more concerned about how time is used, not adjusted (Eph. 5:16). Because our time is limited (Heb. 9:27), and because our opportunities are fleeting (Heb. 3:13), we need to make the best use of the time God had granted us. Regardless of time zone or season, let us always walk and live in His light (1 John 1:7).

- David Bragg serves as one of the ministers at the Northwest Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC and is co-editor of BulletinGold. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: or his blog.

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